Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Posts about Community

What We Can Learn from the Twitter Block Fiasco

After an intense night of thrash, including a lively #RestoreTheBlock hashtag, Twitter reverted the change. Now, then. What have we learned? And what can other companies with large communities take away from this teachable moment?

The Argument Machine

I’m not saying that Twitter was designed to create arguments. I’m just saying that, if you set out to create an Argument Machine, it’d come out looking a lot like Twitter.

On Seeding Communities

I’d like you to hold two slightly contradictory thoughts in your head at once for a few minutes. They are: 1. One of the best things you can do for a new community is seed it with good stuff. And: 2. One of the worst things you can do to your community is lie.

“Nobody Uses Their Real Name” and Other Outdated Notions

I got my first email address in 1991. I was a freshman at UC Santa Cruz and a friend took me to a basement geek office where you had to fill out a paper form to get your free ucsc.edu email account. In the box labeled “User-name” I started to write “Derek.” My friend stopped me. “Nobody uses their real name.” He said it like he was talking to a child.

Twitter for Adults

Congratulations on getting a Twitter account (or having one for a while)! You’re now taking part in the biggest social experiment in human history (more on that later). But just because you’re floating in a global sea of idle thoughts doesn’t mean you have to drown.

You can be a grownup and participate on Twitter, but it takes some doing. Here are the two ways I’ve found to use Twitter as an adult.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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